Dan Simons speaks and teaches food and the hospitality business from direct experience. His strengths are founded in his ability to lead and direct teams while focusing on systems that deliver profitability.
In 2004, Dan co-founded Vucurevich Simons Advisory Group (VSAG) with his mentor and business partner Michael Vucurevich and built a team of passionate restaurant industry veterans with the proven ability to take businesses to the next level. In 2008, Dan spearheaded development of Founding Farmers for VSAG client, the North Dakota Farmers Union.
Under Dan’s direction, Founding Farmers has flourished as one of the greenest restaurants in the U.S. and the first LEED Gold Certified upscale, full-service restaurant in the country. Within two years of its opening, Founding Farmers became OpenTable’s most-booked restaurant in the U.S. and has since appeared in hundreds of media mentions. In 2011, a sister restaurant was born: MoCo’s Founding Farmers opened in Potomac, MD to great success. A true visionary, Dan further expanded The Farm brand with with the opening of Farmers Fishers Bakers in the fall of 2012.
Prior to founding VSAG, Dan developed his operational foundation at high-volume restaurants like The Cheesecake Factory and T.G.I. Friday's, which he then applied to the eatZi's Market & Bakery brand, helping to take it to a $65 million/year hybrid restaurant-retail operation.
Dan's operational expertise comes from on-the-ground experience and a passion for guest services, notable concepts, exceptional operations and bottom-line success. With a passion for leadership and the development of industry talent, Dan is a frequent panelist and speaker at industry and educational events. He has participated in the FranklinCovey Leadership Symposium and teaches an annual 7-week workshop at The George Washington University School of Business in Washington, D.C., where he is able to impart his business practices and lessons learned to students as they prepare to embark on their own careers. As an industry expert and expert witness, Dan is also often quoted in the media and trade journals.
Born and raised in Lynnfield, Massachusetts, Dan studied international business at GW, and in 2010 founded The Scholarship for Sustainable Hospitality, an annual gift funded at the university by Founding Farmers, The Farm, and VSAG. In 2012, Dan was the recipient of the annual The George Washington University’s School of Business prestigious “Business Gives Back Distinguished Alumni Award” for his commitment to sustainability and social responsibility practices.
Dan’s long-term plans for VSAG include growing the business on a global level. With the U.S. client base increasing and concept development and consulting business already in international arenas such as Korea, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, The United Arab Emirates, Panama and China, Dan is directing VSAG’s global strategies.
Dan and his wife live in Maryland with their three sons and share an affinity for world travel and exploring hospitality concepts wherever they go.
What are you waiting for?